Legal Business Blogs

Promotion time: Latham keeps City round at two as new partners focused on Big Apple

Latham & Watkins may have been aggressively sweeping up City talent from rivals but the US-based giant is remaining conservative on making up its own in the Square Mile with the firm this week confirming the promotion of two partners in London.

Charles Armstrong in finance and corporate specialist Huw Thomas have been appointed to partnership in the firm’s City office, with the duo coming amid a 31-strong global promotion round. Latham also promoted two partners in London in 2016 amid a firm-wide tally of 27.

Effective on 1 January 2018, the majority were made up in its US heartlands, with 24 minted across the firm’s branches in San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Century City, Chicago, Los Angeles and seven partners promoted in New York alone.

Europe saw three corporate lawyers promoted in Dusseldorf (Natalie Daghles); Milan (Giancarlo D’Ambrosio), and Moscow (Olga Ponomarenko). In Asia the firm promoted in the local corporate teams in Tokyo (Nozomi Oda) and Singapore (Marcus Lee). Almost half of the promotions were in corporate, which saw 14 associates promoted, followed by 11 in litigation. Eleven of this year’s round were women, against just four in 2016.

Jennifer Van Driesen, chair of the 2,300-lawyer firm’s associate committee, said the promotions were ‘the culmination of many years of effort, team play, proven leadership, and achievements by this group of lawyers’.

Other prominent US firms showed a clearer London focus in their promotion rounds this year, with Kirkland & Ellis appointing 13 new partners in its City arm and White & Case seven.

Launched in 1990, Latham’s London office is the fifth largest based on number of fee earners among US players according to Legal Business’s Global London 2017 survey, with 329 lawyers, including 76 partners. But despite a relatively conservative run of partner promotions in the Square Mile, there is no doubt that Latham is regarded as one of the most potent competitors in the City thanks its sustained investment.

For more on Latham’s track record in the City, see this month’s cover feature ‘The Departed’ (£)